Fog rises up,
Tuffs and tuffs of yellow smoke
Each containing a man's sorrow,
Drift to heaven to rest in the ear
Of Almighty God.
The Saxophone, gleaming like sea-glass
On a bright moon beach,
Doth breathe in the scents into their lungs,
And wails into the empty night.
On this moonless, starless night,
Where no light seems possible,
They shuffle in one by one,
Waitresses, and Steelworkers.
Some come in their work clothes,
Still drenched in sweat;
Others scraped themselves from the sewer
In order to feel better for awhile.
The Song begins, a sweet wail—
A siren leading them from the rocks
Where they've crashed
To Paradise, where men walk hand in hand.
The crowd gulps these notes,
Guzzling from the brass pitcher,
Beer that would never go stale,
Clutching a life preserver
In Jim Crow sea.